Saturday, 25 January 2014

Give me space

I want a new guitar. I admit I don't need one (I have 4)... but I want one.

The problems is that my wife says we don't have the space.  She has initiated a new house rule for guitars - one in, one out.  But I'm emotionally attached to my guitars so selling one is difficult.  However, I admit we are running out of space.

We all know that what we have to store continually expands to fill the available space.  So we end up storing 'rubbish', stuff we might need one day when it 'comes in useful'.

The same is true at work. Most workspaces are full of unused tools, equipment, files, papers - taking up space, getting in the way, making us less productive.  This is why the 5S process is so valuable - if we declutter, we work more effectively and more productively.

So, if you take a look at your workspace and declutter it, I promise to think about considering getting rid of one of my guitars.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Plan B

Marks & Spencer, the large UK retailer has an environmental strategy branded 'Plan A' .... "because there is no Plan B.  They are trying to get over the message that we HAVE to look after the environment and they are doing what they can.

Of course, in business, there has to be a Plan B - except in severe emergencies.  We have to have the flexibility to respond to changing circumstances - competition, legislation, technology or whatever.

There is now some concern that if we over-emphasis resource cutting approaches such as lean, we might reduce such flexibility to the point where there is no Plan B.

So, by all mean make yourself lean - but alongside the lean programme carry out a risk assessment and keep a little resource 'in the bank' for emergencies.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

This is personal

If you Google the word 'productivity', you get lots of results. Many of them relate to 'personal productivity', some of them to organisational productivity and a few to national productivity.

So, which is the most important?

One way of looking at it is to assume that collective personal productivity makes up organisational productivity and collective organisational productivity makes up national productivity.

However, this is not so.  Organisational productivity depends much more on the effectiveness of the systems, processes and procedures involved than it does on the personal effectiveness of the workers ... except perhaps for the effectiveness of the few key people who shape policy and strategy.

So, don't ignore personal productivity ...but don't expect it to transform your business if you don't pay attention to those other key elements.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Radical change

I've done quite a bit of work with the fishing and seafood sectors recently.

Over the last couple of decades, the seafood sector has been transformed through a change from catching fish to 'growing' fish - with aquaculture being a major - and growing - component of the sector.

Can you think how such a revolutionary change could be effected within your own industry.

If so, you could make your name and/or fortune by fundamentally changing the productivity of a whole sector.

(All I ask is a word of thanks when you accept your first major award!)